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  • Courtesy Wikicommons
  • President Obama

Reader staffers share stories that fascinate, amuse, or inspire us.

Hey, did you read:

• That in his State of the Union address two weeks from now, President Obama will declare 2014 a “year of action”? (The president’s “action” will focus on adding jobs, with or without the help of Congress, his senior advisor says.) Steve Bogira

• That the Mexican government has deployed state police to intervene in a violent conflict between drug cartels and local vigilante groups? Ben Sachs

• About a self-described “second-rate novelist” in America who is a literary superstar in Japan? Aimee Levitt

• About the Breaking Bad-style blue meth found in New Mexico? Brianna Wellen

• That hallucinations were viewed in the ancient world as messages from the gods? Mick Dumke

• These myths about the NSA that need some clearing up? Drew Hunt